DURBAN – The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) in KZN says it wants the Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban shut down. This comes after 66 people, including 48 staff members,tested positive for the coronavirus.
“This spread is due to arrogant and wrong attitudes of managers who refuse to give workers Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) but continue intimidating them about dismissal where we know that employment in SA is at the lowest; so nurses are the victims of this scare tactic. They must close the whole hospital. If the minister is serious he must set an example and close it down,” said Mandla Shabangu, DENOSA KZN Provincial Secretary.
In a twitter post National Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said, “The provincial department is engaging with the hospital with the view to close parts of the hospital down.”
Mkhize said specialists have been assigned to the hospital and that the fumigation process at the hospital is likely to start soon.
The St Augustine’s Hospital has been identified as a hotspot for coronavirus infections in KwaZulu-Natal.
In a statement issued by Dr Richard Friedland, CEO of the Netcare Group, said: “We have put further measures in place, including the closure of the hospital’s emergency department and stopping all new admissions into the hospital.Ongoing daily screening of all staff, doctors and contract workers will continue before they are allowed to enter the hospital. This will enable prompt identification and testing of any persons at risk who may not have had symptoms on previous days. There is also is a considerable initiative underway to reinforce all infection control precautions and formal monitoring of all precautions will be conducted several times a day.”
“We still maintain that managers must be brought to book in their personal capacity for failing to protect workers and risk workers’ lives and their families,” added Shabangu.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health is currently trying to trace all patients who have been admitted at St Augustine since the 1st of March 2020. Patients are urged to call these numbers: 031 268 5019 / 033 846 600
Meanwhile,Health workers in the North West have embarked on a mass screening campaign in Rustenburg, in Bojanala District, where five cases were reported. The district has the highest confirmed COVID-19 infections in the province. The campaign is part of a roll-out of screening, testing, and contact tracing programme.
For LIVE updates on the Coronavirus pandemic, follow us on Twitter : @sacoronamonitor